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Chairman's Message

Welcome to SiliconPV and nPV workshop 2018 at EPFL, Lausanne, Switzerland

The field of crystalline silicon technology has witnessed a wealth of new ideas being worked out at an impressive pace in recent years: reducing silicon usage significantly, manipulating material defects, creating high performance passivating contacts, inventing low-cost patterning steps, adding junctions on top of silicon, going for the ultimate module design and for the ultimate efficiency… Depending on the scenarios, the annual PV market could grow up to 500 GW in the next 12 to 20 years. In other words, we are not at the end, but just at the beginning of the solar era. Any money invested in academics, research centers or industries, is an important and justifiable investment in the future of the planet.

In that context, Switzerland is a special place for several reasons: first, it is one of the sole countries where the population voted a few months ago with 58% in favor of a progressive energy strategy, implying among other things less CO2 emission and more solar. Second, it hosts several industries in the PV markets including well reputed equipment and hardware makers, metrology companies… And third, this is completed by vibrant communities of researchers in PV at the various Swiss research institutions, and of course in the field of crystalline silicon, at the EPFL-PV-lab and at CSEM in Neuchâtel. 

This year’s event takes place on the amazing  EPFL campus in Lausanne (45 minutes from Neuchâtel) in the beautiful Rolex Learning center, close to the Geneva Lake, facing the alps. EPFL, ranked one of the top engineering schools in Europe, has also integrated a revolutionary grid control and energy management system on its campus covered by 2 MW of PV. Altogether, it seems difficult to find a better place to welcome this 2018 edition of the SiliconPV and nPV workshop which should be great again, after a successful 2017 edition!

Conference Chairman
Prof. Christophe Ballif
EPFL, Photovoltaics and Thin Film Electronics Laboratory

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